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Stern Words


Some new developments on the NBA’s uniform advertising program yesterday. As you may recall, the Board of Governors was supposed to take a final e-mail vote on the plan at some point in September. But September came and went, and there was no word from the league about the results of the vote, or about anything else pertaining to the uni advertising plan.

When the parameters of the plan were laid out in July, league VP Adam Silver said, “My sense is that every team is in favor of doing this in some form.” Commish David Stern, who has always stood up for the sanctity of the uniform (he has single-handedly kept maker’s marks off of NBA uniforms) had little to say at the time, and now we know why: He doesn’t like the plan. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Stern had this to say about the uni advertising plan:

“As a personal matter, I am not in favor of it, but I’m not standing in the way of it. If my board wants to do it, we’ll do it. ”¦ [NBA uniforms have] no information of the manufacturer and no sponsor, and that is something that I have worked hard to preserve for many decades. But I understand that the time may have to come to consider it. So we’re going to let the Board of Governors decide what to do.”

Those quotes come from this Comcast SportsNet article, which appeared last night (I believe the time stamp on it is wrong). Yahoo Sports blogger Eric Freeman quickly picked up the story by presenting a summary of the Comcast article and offering his own analysis, although he painted a somewhat rosier picture than I think is accurate. The headline on Freeman’s story is “David Stern claims owners are divided on jersey advertisements,” and his text includes this: “[I]t appears that NBA owners are not unified on this front. According to David Stern, disagreement among owners is holding up any plans for ads on jerseys.”

That would be great if it were true. But remember, Freeman’s piece is just an analysis of the Comcast piece. And I don’t see anything in the Comcast piece to support Freeman’s claims of the owners disagreeing or being divided. The Comcast piece does, however, offer three significant insights:

1) The Board of Govs is still considering the plan, which means the final vote, which had supposedly been slated for September, has apparently not yet taken place.

2) While I think it’s a stretch to say that the owners are divided on this issue (at least based on Stern’s comments), the plan doesn’t sound like a completely done deal either (again, based only on Stern’s comments).

3) David Stern knows in his heart that uniform advertising is wrong, but he apparently lacks the will and/or the power prevent it from happening. On the one hand, this is not surprising: The commissioner, after all, is an employee of the owners, and at least some of the NBA owners — perhaps most of them — clearly want this new revenue stream. On the other hand, Stern is by far the longest-tenured of the Big Four commissioners and is generally considered to be the most powerful among them as well, so it’s hard for me to believe he couldn’t have put his foot down on this if he’d wanted to. But he’s apparently chosen not to expend personal and political capital on this issue. In his own words, “I am not in favor of it, but I’m not standing in the way of it.” That’s a disappointing cop-out, like a politician voting “Present” on a controversial piece of legislation. By contrast, when Bud Selig and Roger Goodell were asked about uniform advertising in the wake of the NBA’s announcement back in July, both of them basically said, “Yeah, that won’t be happening anytime soon in my league.” You can be sure that there are some MLB and NFL owners who’d like to have uniform ads, but Selig and Goodell took charge of the issue and put the kibosh on it themselves. Too bad Stern couldn’t or wouldn’t do that for his league. (Then again, Selig and Goodell don’t have to deal with Mark Cuban, who’s been agitating for NBA uniform ads for years now.)

I take all of this with highly guarded optimism. Frankly, I had assumed that the September vote had been taken and that the league was waiting to announce it on the day after Thanksgiving or some other time when they hoped nobody would notice. But if the vote hasn’t taken place yet — a vote that was going to be conducted via e-mail, so it’s not like they had to arrange everyone’s schedule in order to get everyone in one room — that’s a good sign. And while Stern’s comments aren’t precisely what I wish he’d say, they aren’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the uni ad plan either. When the guy running your league basically says, “Meh” about a major new program, that’s not a good sign for the program.

We’ll have to see how this all plays out, natch. But I’ll take whatever morsels of good news on this front that I can get, and yesterday’s developments definitely qualify. #NoUniAds

(Oh, the Sporting News ran its own story about Stern’s comments. It kicks off with a blockbuster of a claim — “The NBA could soon do away with block letters and large numbers on team uniforms to make room for public sponsors and ad campaigns” — but then the next graf says, “[T]eam owners have begun to mull over the possibility of placing ads on NBA jerseys,” which makes me think the writer just has no idea what’s going on with this storyline.)

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

We’re kicking off this week with a pair of Collector’s Corner favorites. First, it’s not unusual to see those 1970s Gatorade NFL caps floating around, but you don’t often see a full set of them. And if you’d rather have something a bit smaller but every bit as cool, here’s a full set of NFL Chiquita stickers. (Note, however, that the listing claims that it includes a “Boston Patriots” sticker, but the photo shows “New England.”)

As for the rest of this week’s eBay finds:

• This Cleveland Browns long-sleeve polo looks 1980s to me, despite the “1970s-1980s” description. Not from Adidas, although the three-stripe look sure is Adidas-esque.

• This seller claims that this Staubach jersey was worn for a 1970s TV commercial. I can see that — it’s close, but not too close. [Would be a lot more credible if they could say what the commercial was for, though. ”” PL]

• Loved the look on this Chiefs jacket from Logo Athletic. This was a continuation of the design used on their “sharktooth”-style cap. Liked that whole NFL Pro Line look, too — better than the “all for one and one for all” Nike uniformity.

• Rams fans! You’ll love this 1970s helmet alarm clock. You might also dig this 1960s poster by the Master, David Boss.

• This New York Baseball Giants pennant looks to be in great shape despite its age.

• And we wrap up this week with a gorgeous pair of Kansas City Kings game-worn shorts. Nice!

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here, and you can follow Brinke on Twitter and Facebook.

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PermaRec update: If you’re from Boulder, Colorado, you’ll definitely want to check out the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog, which is about an amazing 1960s ledger/journal from a Boulder pharmacy that I recently acquired. But even if you’ve never been to Boulder (I’ve never been there myself), I think many of you will really like this one — the ledger was compiled in a very obsessive way that will appeal to Uni Watch readers, and it has lots of intriuging stories lurking in its pages. Get the full scoop here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Been a while since I’ve picked up a vintage uniform catalog on eBay, but I won this one last night. More photos once I receive the item from the seller. ”¦ The Wounded Warrior Project is a worthy program, but this year’s WWP uniforms, produced by Under Armour for Boston College (to be worn on Oct. 27) and Hawaii (Nov. 24), engage in some particularly egregious flag-desecration costumery. Why not just dress them up in Captain America outfits and get it over with? At least the BC design will be worn just a few days prior to Halloween, which is appropriate. The press release describes the designs as “patriotic,” which just confirms the old line about the last refuge of a scoundrel. (As a bonus, Christian Eidt says, “In 35 years of following BC, I cannot recall any other time they’ve worn white at home.”) ”¦ Meanwhile, the G.I. Joe thing has spread to the high school ranks. That’s Center Gove High, from Indiana. More disturbing than the camo pattern is the fact that the jerseys were sponsored by the National Guard, which strikes me as highly inappropriate (from Nile Smith). … New “battle” uniform, whatever that means, for South Carolina, and holy shit is it ugly. … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to a “Gatorade Only” poster in the Comerica Park dugout. Several readers wrote in to say they’d seen that same poster in most of the other postseason dugouts. “I assume it has to do with the playoffs being an MLB production and MLB taking control of all advertisements,” says Rick Lynch. “The Giants normally have Powerade in the dugout, because they serve Coke products, but in the postseason they used Gatorade. Also, AT&T Park has had to cover up a lot of its ads with generic ‘MLB Postseason’ ads.” … You know what a multi-gazillion-dollar industry with cash leaking out of its asshole and a Federal antitrust exemption really needs more of? Volunteer labor. Just another example of how anything is possible once you’ve had your shame gland surgically removed. No word on whether the volunteers will be dismissed if they’re caught drinking Powerade. … Alberto Sanchez notes that the Texans’ captaincy patches were kinda crooked last night (and yes, their collars still look like shite). ”¦ Really, really interesting infographic on the history of risk management in baseball (big thanks to Tony Macrito). … Many readers noticed that the Indians’ announcement regarding the hiring of Terry Francona included a Photoshopped image showing Francona in a 2011 jersey. … Interesting overlap of Uni Watch and meat: Did you know that Filipinos refer to chicken feet as “adidas”? It’s true (thanks, Kirsten). … Also from Kirsten: Want to knit your own college football mittens? Look here and here. … With Vanderbilt wearing all-white last Saturday, coach James Franklin did his part, complete with a white swoosh (from Will Edge). … Further evidence that purple is evil. … Saw Looper last night. Liked it, but my favorite detail is that the economy of the future runs primarily on silver ingots. Like I always say during the Olympix, go for the silver! ”¦ Two Notre Dame football items from Warren Junium: Good before/after shots of a reconditioned helmet, and — of course — pink gear for this weekend. ”¦ Oooh, awesome socks being worn by Lazio, a Rome soccer club (from Michael Orr). ”¦ Illustrator Gyula Németh has started a Kickstarter project to fund what looks to be a really cool illustrated history of pro football. Definitely something worthy of your consideration. ”¦ Yesterday I Ticker-linked to a photo of what appeared to be a Pens/Habs color-on-color game. Now Jerry Wolper has found a confirming photo, along with an explanation, which is buried within this article: “The Penguins were wearing their blue road uniforms last night. Their regular white home uniforms faded over the summer and the areas that should be black turned green. New white uniforms are on order.” … The Giants played at home on Sunday and then the Jets played at home last night. Here’s a video showing how the whole stadium — field, signs, vendors’ product, etc. — was turned over (from Kevin Corcoran).

Comments (108)

    When looking to promote toughness, I’ve found telling a dude to grow a pussy makes better sense. Balls are sensitive and vulnerable, but those pussies can really take a beating. I’ll show myself out.

    Regrettably, don’t share your optimism that a deferred vote against NBA Ad Idiocy is positive. The political gerbils in large organizations (including the NBA) know the arcane puzzle palace and how to get things done, and they’re merely waiting to take a vote on the Cuban Act until after they have compromising photos on all the owners who are resisting ‘progress’, so they can be ‘persuaded’ to follow the company line. (PS, nuke ’em all)

    That Bisons logo wasn’t leaked. One of the bloggers drew it – he even put his name on the horn.

    It would be a good logo for a jazz club, with the goutee…

    If that Buffalo Bisons logo is legit, then the team did a little bactracking from these comments from 9/22, link

    “‘We started this week with a graphic designer and went through a wish list,” Buczkowski said. “Next week we’ll start with real ideas. We want something that will be a Buffalo Bisons identity. We want to have someone who is not in Buffalo say, ‘Who is your affilate?’ We want to have that identity.'”

    That’s no slight to the Blue Jays. Most minor-league teams have gotten away from the parent-club look.”

    I don’t think many folks would have trouble identifying the Bisons as a Jays’ farm team based on the logo in today’s ticker.

    It’s not legit, as Johnny pointed out above you… and the article is also dated Sept 19, so it actually pre-dates your linked page.

    Total non-story here.

    The Gatorade cap isn’t truly a complete set. It doesn’t have the follwoing variations (from 1971–the first year):

    Redskins: Gold helmet
    Bears: White “C”
    Rams: White horns
    Oilers: Silver helmet

    Very nice collection nontheless.

    FYI, since I have seen some mention of it lately, I am still getting pop-ups (not just pop-unders, or whatever) from the site. Today is the first time I let my blocker open it. Paul, since you have asked before, let me know if you want the details on the ad, etc.

    This is the pop-up I got:

    It looks to be some sort of auction site, from the ad I can’t tell if it is legit (as legit as these things can be) or something else (and I am not going to click on it for the sake of investigation). I am running Firefox 15.0. I have checked my security system’s logs and I don’t have any evidence of a virus or malware, though I am running a detailed scan now just in case the problem is on my end.

    Zedo is a spyware/tracking cookie. The problem’s on you, I’m afraid. Try Spybot: link if whatever program you’re scanning with doesn’t find anything.

    Hm… that would be good news for Paul, at least. I will see if I can track down the problem. Thanks.

    I’m looking at Jerry Wolper’s article confirming the color-on-color Penguins-Canadiens game, and now see why perhaps no one noticed it at the time — just above that article is another one describing one of the greatest World Series games ever played!

    Yes, Jerry noted that when he sent me the link. The eyes of the sports world were definitely not trained on the Pens/Habs game that night.

    Pretty cool to see such a signature moment in the context of it having happened less than 24 hours earlier.

    On the flip side of that, the Mets’/MLB’s shameful decision to ask for volunteers for the ASG, those horrendous American flag college uniforms, the NFLs pink-out and the disgrace that is the NHL has me wondering what I’ll do for fun once I’ve given up on sports completely in a couple years.

    rob, that “battle” video took about 5 years of being a sports fan off of my life.

    not sure where you’re at, but i think i’m closer to the end than i’ve ever been.

    I’m getting closer every day. I just haven’t been able to generate the same interest in the Steelers since Ben’s wild night in Georgia, no matter the extent of his guilt. Pair that with the obnoxious overexposure of the NFL in general, and I’m just about done.

    One of the few things I DO get excited about are the aesthetics, the uniforms…but the news is grim there as well. This clownish Under Armor/Nike arms race, the NFL’s willingness to look ridiculous for an entire month to sell pink clothing to female fans, and the inevitability of having uniforms emblazoned with General Electric and Exxon logos within the next decade…

    Fuck it, I got comics to draw.

    Dammit… and I was just going to commission you to do a pin up of my wife in nothing but Oregon Duck wings covering her top region. I guess you have your limits!!!!!


    My understanding is South Carolina’s “battle” unis are going to be used this Saturday against LSU and are being worn in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project as well.

    The BC, Hawaii, and South Carolina football uniforms are atrocious. The uniform shenanigans in college football are significantly decreasing my interst in the game.

    I won’t go so far as to say that it’s decreasing my interest in the game, but it is decreasing my interest in college uniforms. I used to really follow college football uniform changes; I was always on top of them. But now teams change every week it seems. I can’t keep up or remember everything anymore, and now I’m kind of at the point where I’m asking myself “Why bother?”

    I don’t think that writer of the Adidas/Chicken feet article put two and two together that the chicken feet look like the Adidas logo…. he makes it seem as though he thinks it’s simply because Adidas makes shoes.

    I could grouse about the splashy stories in todays Ticker- the college and high school football uniforms that trivialize war are especially noisome- but I’d rather give props to Kirsten’s bodacious mittens. I respect craft. Not only does she show her favorite teams some love, she does it by the sweat of her brow. And, discounting supplies, no money changed hands.


    The GI Joe uniforms worn by Center Grove High School, were also worn by Brownsburg High School, where we live, here in Indiana. They also were sponsored by the National Guard. I’ll try to get you a picture.

    I’m a little surprised you would have any optimism about the NBA situation, Paul. I believe you’ve mentioned it before, and I agree: the way things have progressed to this point makes this seem like an inevitability. Not because it has to be, of course. But if enough owners want it, they’ll eventually convince the holdouts. I hate to be a pessimist about it myself, but I honestly believe that if we don’t see it this year, we’ll see it sometime within the next five now that the wheels have been greased. Especially if the economy doesn’t pick up and they can continue to use some BS excuse like that for needing to generate “extra revenue”. Fans’ wishes be damned.

    The key question is what number of votes is sufficient for Cuban to win approval of a policy that permits him to sell ad space on his team’s uniforms. There are multiple ways to achieve that goal – from mandating uni ads for all teams to simply permitting it for teams that wish to pursue the option. Also different options for revenue division that effectively permit advocates to buy assent from ambivalent owners.

    Different scenarios may require majorities of different sizes. Is there any scenario for which a simple majority is sufficient? If so, then without Stern’s active kibosh, uni ads will happen sooner than later. In any collaborative leadership environment like a board, you strive for consensus (which is not the same as unanimity), but if that can’t be reached, you ultimately have to choose between permitting a minority veto or holding a vote and letting the majority win. Cuban for one can be counted on to choose the latter, if he has sufficient votes to achieve his objective.

    To this observer, the more likely scenario is not that the uni ad movement has stalled, but that advocates have failed in their first approach of winning by consensus. Now they’re on to one of several Plan Bs, which may be operating concurrently, which may include extending efforts to arrive at consensus as well as a pivot to a simple vote, which means getting firm commitments and counting yeas in advance of a formal ballot. Either way, the odds still favor uni ads being adopted soon.

    I agree that last night’s developments are probably, at most, a speed bump. But a speed bump is better than the Autobahn. And Stern going public with his misgivings feels significant, although it may not matter much in a practical sense.

    I honestly believe that if we don’t see it this year, we’ll see it sometime within the next five

    That’s a whole lot better than “It’s a done deal for the 2013 season,” which is the barrel we’d been staring down.

    As long as it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t happened yet. I’ll take that for as long as we can get it.

    Does anybody else find Hawaii’s (oops, Hawai’i’s) uniforms ironic given how Hawai’i became a US territory?

    Going to Wikipedia is a copout, but nonetheless link In a nutshell: Overthrow of the Hawai’ian monarchy, followed by the establishment of a republic that actively sought and obtained annexation of the country by the US. The cousin of the president of the republic moved to Hawai’i after annexation and formed the pineapple company that bears link

    Paul, great grab on the Hanesport catalog. Back a few years ago you asked me to comment on some prints ads for uniforms and one from Hanesport was among them. As I said then Hanes should have stuck with T-shirts and underwear instead of trying to compete with Russell and Champion for the low-to-medium priced football jersey market.

    The sales rep for Hanes was the Ralph Libonati group from Westfield, NJ. The Rochester-area rep was Al Malavase who lived in nearby Holcomb, NY near Canandaigua Lake.

    Libonati became the Northeast-area distributor for adidas shoes around 1970. Back then Ruby’s Sporting Goods was the ONLY adidas dealer in the Central-Western New York area. If you wanted adidas back then you had to come to us at Ruby’s.

    The very first pair of adidas leather basketball shoes ever in Rochester was my personal pair. That was in late 1967. I had seen a picture of Les Selvage of the Anaheim Amigos of the ABA wearing adidas. I called the then-adidas rep, Dave Carlson of Carlson Import Shoe Co. of NYC to inquire about them and he offered to send me a pair to try out. He sent me a pair of “Supergrip” low-cuts. They were extremely comfortable. We sold a lot of them for the ’68-’69 season but there was a problem with the construction of the shoes. The glue wasn’t strong enough to stick to the leather and sewing the soles to the uppers caused them to rip at the stitching. They eventually got it worked out and called the new, improved shoe the “Superstar.”

    To answer your question, no, I don’t have my original pair any longer. Wish I did.

    Insider talk and stories like these are one of things that make this such a great site.

    Thanks for sharing Terry!

    The explanation for that Penguins-Habs color game makes no sense.

    The white jerseys faded over the summer and the black turned green? Really?


    First of all, that was during their navy blue/powder blue era. The only black on the jersey was the cartoon penguin. How does a jersey “fade”… over the summer???

    Secondly, they didn’t use the same jerseys as the previous season! Here is the 74-75 set:

    There are differences in the waist and sleeve striping in both home and road jerseys. So they obviously were not wearing the jerseys from the previous season. There has to be a different explanation…


    Likely that to Al Strachan’s eyes, the navy looked like black. As for the navy fading to green…I dunno.

    Anyway, I tried the google Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette archives myself and unfortunately, it didn’t yield much. The Pens 75-76 home opener vs. Washington did feature the Caps wearing white and the Pens in blue.

    I couldn’t come up with images from the 10/18 game with Detroit or the 10/25 game with Philadelphia. With the aforementioned 10/21 with Montreal confirmed, one would have to think the Pens were still wearing blue at home against the Wings.

    The Penguins next home game wouldn’t be until the 11/5 game with the Islanders and by then, the Pens were wearing white, per the 11/6 edition of the Pgh Press.

    Which – for now – leaves the 10/25/75 game with the Flyers a bit of a mystery as to whether the Pens wore their new whites or still had to wear the road light blues.

    I did see the opener, but hadn’t looked beyond the game on the 22nd. In addition to what they wore on the 25th, there’s also the question of whether the Wings wore red or white on the 18th.

    The Penguins went through IRS padlocking and bankruptcy, start to finish, during the summer of 1975, so fading uniforms weren’t a priority. It looks like the waist striping for the two home games we have pictures of matches 75-76 on, so maybe the new road unis were delivered in time for the season, but not the home unis.

    It’s always struck me as very odd that they’d tweak the road unis (from white waistlines to navy), but then revert back to the 1973-74 style (albeit with a V-neck instead of a lace-up collar) for the home unis.

    From the All Star Volunteer Registration:

    SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
    Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
    All-Star Game Charity 5k & Fun Run
    State Farm Home Run Derby
    All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet

    What, no one wanted to sponsor the 5k & Fun Run?

    I guess I’ve come around on this issue. I used to cringe in horror at the very idea of advertising on sports uniforms. Then I started watching (and then getting in to, and then becoming a huge fan of) the English Premiere League (and international club soccer in general). There are ads front and center on all of them and I noticed that….. I don’t really care. It doesn’t bug me one bit.

    if the NBA does it, but perhaps puts in some language that all money from it goes right back into team operations (no padding owners pockets with it) then I can’t see how it really is a problem for me.

    I’m sure I’ll be in a minority here, though.

    if the NBA does it, but perhaps puts in some language that all money from it goes right back into team operations (no padding owners pockets with it) then I can’t see how it really is a problem for me.

    OK. But since they’re likely *not* to include that language — and likely to pad their pockets in precisely the manner you describe — how do you feel about it?

    In other words, you’ve created a theoretical situation you could live with. But how about the *actual* situation you’re likely to be faced with?

    Honestly? Still doesn’t bug me. Still not quite sure WHY it doesn’t bug me.. I think it has something to do with as I’ve gotten older realizing more and more that sports is, first and foremost, a business.

    Money is fungible–if the uni ad money is required to go into team operations, that just means some other revenue does not need to go into team operations and can pad the owner’s pockets (if there’s enough of it).

    exactly…just like your state lottery funds education

    and if you believe that, i’ve got a bridge near paul for sale

    I appreciate your trying to put a net in the logo, but I’m not feeling that design.

    First and foremost, the typeface is a major step down (plus the kerning in “Nets” is off). Radial arching looks goofy with that shield – too much empty space on each side in an otherwise very busy concept.

    I know there’s not a lot of love for the Nets logo, but I still haven’t seen a concept that improves upon it.

    Here’s some love for the Nets’ insignia. You know why? A kid can draw it! Mighty important when you’re a kid.

    why the fuck did you put color in that

    the whole idea is for the team to be black and white

    That’s Jay-Z’s idea. I’m not Jay-Z, so if I want them to use something more than black & white, I’m going to concept them in something more than black & white. So there. Dammit.

    Regarding volunteer labor at the 2013 All-Star Game: I lived in Houston when the city hosted a Super Bowl, an All-Star Game, and a Grand Prix race. Each time, volunteers were recruited to help with events. I worked at the NFL Experience and as a vendor at the Grand Prix, and had a terrific time both times. Yes, it’s volunteer labor, but there is some swag involved – we got shirts, caps, and a few other giveaways. Plus, for the Grand Prix, we didn’t have to pay to get in, and could stay as long as we wanted when our shift was over.

    It’s no different, in my opinion, the any large charity recruiting volnteers to help with their events – Komen’s Walk for the Cure, the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, etc.

    It’s no different, in my opinion, the any large charity recruiting volnteers to help with their events — Komen’s Walk for the Cure, the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, etc.

    Uh, there’s one very large difference: A charity is, you know, a CHARITY. The NFL and MLB are mega-corporations with huge profit margins. The idea that they can’t even pay something as paltry as minimum wage is a fucking disgrace.

    Can’t argue with that; they do have lots of cash! They are banking on people’s “love for the game” to get free labor. Pretty un-classy, sez me.

    These WWP uniforms, and all the other flag desecration uniforms are really taking it too damn far. Bits of camo here and there, don’t like it. Mimicking REAL uniforms, really don’t like it. Putting the fucking United States flag on your cleats? Enough already. That is just disrespectful, and I hate that I have no power(spoken $$$) to stop it.

    I second that opinion. The whole camo/flag jersey thing is really distasteful, not to mention ugly. I used to sort of like that once a year the Padres would do the camo thing, given that city’s relationship to the armed forces, but now it’s old and tired and trite. It’s clearly gone way too far. There are lots of ways to recognize troops within the context of a game, if that’s the idea, that don’t involve dressing up like rodeo clowns or flaunting a fake, exaggerated “patriotism” (as brought to you by NIke/UA/Reebok).

    Paul, I know you’ve written about it before for ESPN, but I really feel like it’d be cool to see you do a column about the Nat’l Guard unis making their way into high school sports – who’s OKing this?

    I volunteered for the All Star Game when it was in Chicago at “I’m still calling it Comiskey Park” back in ’03 (?).

    We had to go to a meeting at the park a few weeks prior to the event where we were given rules/regulations, etc. A few days prior to the game, all the volunteers met at the Hyatt, received our polos, credentials, schedules, etc.

    Let me tell you, the folks working for MLB work their asses off during that week. They are completely swamped. While I agree that MLB can afford to pay temporary help, I found it pretty cool (and payment enough) to meet every All Star player, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield, Brooks Robinson and to sit and talk with Ralph Branca and his wife for nearly 2.5 hours.

    They saw me in the hall on a subsequent day and they yelled over to me and hugged me and thanked me before they left. Believe me, I didn’t do anything for them – I just talked to them because I was assigned to the lounge they were in. I couldn’t believe it. They were the nicest folks.

    I also met a few couples who volunteered every year. They took their vacations at All-Star game time and they absolutely love doing it.

    If you get the chance, being an All-Star volunteer is a pretty cool thing whether you get paid or not. (Yes, again, I know, MLB can afford it…)

    Sorry for the extra spacing – Mr. Branca and his wife saw me in the hall – not the other guys….

    Sorry for the extra spacing – Mr. Branca and his wife saw me in the hall – not the other guys….

    (Hey, PL – every time I try to post this as a reply to myself, it gets rejected as a duplicate comment)

    Hi JenInChicago

    Just so your extra posts don’t go to waste, I thought I’d say hi, I’m the Mike that was down in the front row for Cubs-Reds in August and we both got some great stirrup pictures (you posted back to me but I didn’t see it until after comments were closed).

    I’m a huge baseball fan, but I’m not a Reds fan. My wife and I are from Calgary so we don’t have MLB (or pro ball at any level) within 1000 miles. I make sure to get to games whenever I’m travelling, which isn’t often enough. I wouldn’t normally buy in the front row but my wife isn’t a huge baseball fan so I had to make it worth her while. Plus it might be the only time I ever get to Wrigley, we had to go all out.

    Ha, thanks…..sometimes I think my posts disappear into the ether..

    Did you get to explore the city? I had the chance to show some folks from South Africa, Belgium and England around the town in early August and I forget how much there is to do here.

    I don’t blame you for going all out with the tickets….You have to sit in the front row at least once in your life!

    i dont think anyone (businessmen excluded) wants advertisements on uniforms.

    BUT if advertisements on the uniforms keep teams in certain markets by improving cash flow, I’m 100% for it.

    but then again, owners are greedy. they could see an increase in ad dollars IF they moved the team

    companies could control the business? ads on unis seem like slippery slope

    If you honestly think uniform advertising is what will keep a franchise in a given city… or help a team sign an extra free agent… or result in lower ticket prices… or anything else fan-friendly… then you’re living in a fantasy world.

    so basically Uni ads have little to offer to the fans? its just a way for the owners to increase their bottom line.

    do they even need too? sounds so desperate

    No, they don’t NEED to. But the thought of extra $$$ makes them THINK they need to!

    We’ve talked about this before, but I can’t see any way this doesn’t increase the revenue disparity between rich and poor teams.

    Does anybody really think that the Milwaukee Bucks or Portland Trailblazers will be able to sell their jersey space at the same price the Celtics or Lakers will command?

    Big fan of infographics, so I clicked on the “history of risk management” in the ticker. It was kind of interesting but nothing special.

    One thing that did catch my eye was this line in the “Safety” breakdown: Alter color of baseball to optic yellow or use a baseball with a bright red stripe around the seam laces like the balls used during hitting practice.

    Obviously we’ve talked about Charley Finley and yellow baseballs, but I don’t think I’ve heard of the “red stripe” technique before. Sure that would improve a batter’s perception during BP, but wouldn’t that then put them at a disadvantage during the game?

    Hey is it just me, or does this fan from last night’s WWE Raw in Sacramento have a BFBS Joe Montana throwback on?


    So now BFBS jerseys are being made for throwbacks? Montana was just retiring whenever BFBS started to become popular, and I mean from the Chiefs, not the 49ers.

    I can’t see the video for some reason… but they were making black fashion jerseys in the early 90’s, so at least hypothetically it could just be a really old jersey, rather than a new “throwback”.

    The jersey doesn’t look like its 20 years old. I remember seeing how many Cowboys fashion jerseys at the time. In any case, I doubt one would’ve been made for Montana. Steve Young and Jerry Rice? Yes. But Montana was traded just as the BFBS craze was kicking in.

    The very, very worst, IMHO, was the Dan Marino BFBS jersey – Black with Aqua, Orange & White numerals and trim. Disgusting ….

    Some really interesting images in the earliest known footage of an Australian Rules Football Grand Final (That’s a championship to you and me). The 1909 match pits South Melbourne vs. Carlton at a packed Melbourne Cricket Grounds. Here’s more info:


    And the direct link to the Youtube video:


    Y’know, you’d think the honor of getting to play their “home” games in Giants Stadium should be enough for the jets… do they really need to crap the place up with their shite?

    But since they were late to the party, joining the Giants’ in-development stadium project only when their own fell through, many of us still consider themselves to be second-fiddle in the stadium.

    If we have adertisements added to NBA uniforms (I hope we don’t), I wonder what kind of stink Adidas will put up about a maker’s mark on the jerseys? Wouldn’t they have a legitimate gripe in that sense? And just how cluttered would that make the jerseys look if the NBA relented?

    Hear me out.

    If jersey ads are inevitable, based on the fact owners are greedy pigs, and Stern is anti-douchbaggery, It might be safe to assume Stern would prefer a maker’s mark over a third-party ad.

    I would advocate, as a compromise, that the maker (Adidas or whomever down the road) pay an additional fee for the right to display their mark on the shorts (like pre-2010 NCAA).

    Extra revenue and better than Geico or Samsung.

    For now, that’s a false choice (and one of Paul’s pet peeves in the debate forum), but if your presented false choice were to come true, then yes, I suppose I would agree with you 100%.

    I think football might have finally reached a point for me where it’s basically unwatchable. Not that I spent a huge amount of time watching before (it’s mostly on in the background, and I generally choose by uni-matchup), but now with all the fucking pink, incessant soldier costumes, college teams crapping all over their identity, NikeArmour and friends working to suck the life out of uniform design with their awful templates, etc….. I’m just kind of done.

    I feel this way about almost everything.

    I especially feel this way about those Men’s Wearhouse commericals, with all the skinny hipster dudes in weird suits and ridiculous headwear.

    I’m not speaking to my daughter, who’s a freshman at BYU, because she thinks their black uniforms look “perfectly fine.”

    And don’t get me started about my neighbor’s stupid dogs.

    Hard not to agree w/ Pflava, but I am reminded of this prayer: “Make us choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong, and never be contented with half truth when whole truth can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when right and truth are in jeopardy.” I realize that this is a bit over dramatic in the context of pandering uniforms. But the fact remains, a major element (the uniform) in professional and major college sports, is sadly being led down a ugly (literally) path.

    So we (in the office) are discussing the Giants to Jets conversion from the site today and wondering…

    #1 – is there a neutral option? for HS championship, Bowl Game, etc…
    #2 – how long will it stay Jets now? Depends on who plays there next, of course, but what’s the typical changeover schedule? 3 days each, etc?
    #3 – what does it look like in the off season?

    any help would be appreciated… thanks

    There’s a comment from much earlier in the day that I wanted to respond to, but I didn’t have a chance until now:

    I think [my indifference to uniform ads] has something to do with as I’ve gotten older realizing more and more that sports is, first and foremost, a business.

    Look: Sports has always been a business first and foremost. Always. But it wasn’t always this CORPORATE. That’s the difference.

    I contacted the NBA a while ago about uni ads and got a generic response. Given that there is an upcoming vote on the proposal, I sent a similar message to the Knicks a few minutes ago. I figure it wouldn’t hurt if the teams, which will be voting on this, understand that they have fans who are strongly opposed to it.

    Regarding the Cleveland Browns polo, it’s from 1981. I remember wearing the Dallas Cowboys version in 5th grade. One girl in my class said it was a “cool shirt”, so I trust my memory more than usual on this one.

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